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Everyone Suing Fortnite For Stealing Their Dance Move

Is it possible for everyone to be wrong? In the case of Fortnite and its dance emotes, it's quite possible. Epic Games hasn't made a lot of friends with the emotes it's created for Fortnite, mostly because the dance moves have been popularized by musicians, actors, and other figures. And now some of these folks are taking Epic Games to court, hoping to squeeze the studio for some compensation.


On one hand, Epic Games should have found a way to credit those who helped make a dance famous. On the other hand, those suing look like they're just trying to cash in while Fortnite is popular. It's gross all around, and unfortunately, it looks like it's not going to stop anytime soon.

We anticipate that there'll be more of these lawsuits in the future, so we're getting a jump on things by collecting them below. As more rappers, singers, actors, and random kids surface to file lawsuits against Epic, we'll tell you all about them and the specific beef they have with the studio.

Now, let's get to it.

2 Milly is coming for what's his

2 Milly, a rapper from New York, created a move he calls the "Milly Rock." According to 2 Milly, he was "never compensated" for Epic's use of the dance move in the game. And now 2 Milly would like a few milly more.


Never mind the fact that 2 Milly's dance is incredibly simple, and appears to be one repeated move as opposed to, say, a complex choreographed piece. He also used the move in a 2014 music video and never felt compelled to attempt a copyright registration until December 2018. Wonder why.

So, yeah. In a perfect world, Epic Games would have worked with 2 Milly and just called the dance by its real name. But 2 Milly's lawsuit just smells like something filed by copyright troll attorneys who, hilariously, don't even have the copyright on their side. If it fails, the rest of the items on this list could be in very big trouble. If it somehow succeeds, though, Epic Games could find itself dishing out a lot of money in the future.


Freakin' Backpack Kid

In a crazy 2018, the lawsuit filed against Epic Games by Backpack Kid feels right at home. In case you missed the Saturday Night Live episode he featured in, or any one of the million public performances of his dance afterward, Russell Horning — also known as Backpack Kid — helped popularize the speedy dance known as "flossing." We say "helped popularize" because, as it turns out, Horning didn't invent the dance at all.


Here's a YouTube video of someone doing the dance. It was uploaded in October 2010 — when Horning was nine years old, and was about six-and-a-half years away from appearing with Katy Perry on SNL.

Before you decide to get angry at Backpack Kid for his ridiculous lawsuit, it's worth mentioning that he's a minor, and his mother is actually the one who filed the lawsuit on his behalf. She's his manager, and as it so happens, Backpack Kid also had a new EP drop around the time the lawsuit was announced. So congratulations to her for hopping on the lawsuit bandwagon and grabbing her son some headlines. But we really, really hope this lawsuit gets smacked down — just to send a message.

Carlton -- no wait, his actual name is Alfonso Ribeiro

Most characters in television shows and movies aren't known only for dancing. Think of Elaine from Seinfeld, who introduced the world to that weird kick thing she did. Elaine had far better moments on the show. She's not just known for the dance. And what about Napoleon Dynamite? There are so many quotable lines in that movie. Napoleon's dance at the end is instantly recognizable. But his character was great outside of it.


Alfonso Ribeiro's character on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Carlton, is known today because of the dance he did. That is it.

Ribeiro, like the others on the list so far, doesn't have a copyright for what many affectionately call "The Carlton Dance." In fact, because he was a paid actor on a television show, it's an open question as to whether or not he'd be able to own it at all, or if it would belong to the show's production company. But that isn't stopping Ribeiro from filing a lawsuit against Epic Games for using The Carlton Dance as one of its dance emotes.

We don't particularly like Ribeiro's chances, either. According to Forbes, Ribeiro claimed in the past that his own dance was influenced by other dances he'd seen performed by Bruce Springsteen (with Courtney Cox) and Eddie Murphy. When you add that to the missing copyright, it would seem Ribeiro doesn't have a leg to dance on.


Orange Shirt Kid wants some justice

Another day, another Fortnite lawsuit — this time, one that challenges the game's use of the Orange Justice dance. Like the lawsuit filed for the Floss emote, this one comes courtesy of a mom who believes her kid is entitled to a payday from Epic Games. And like all of the lawsuits against Epic to date, the firm behind it is Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP.


If you dive into the complaint document associated with the suit, you'll find a bunch of head-scratching claims. For starters, the firm representing Orange Shirt Kid's mother states that he is now a "child performer," a job that seems hard to do if you actively avoid publicity. Next, the suit blames Epic Games for subjecting Orange Shirt Kid to cyberbullying as a result of the emote's inclusion in the game, disregarding the fact that Orange Shirt Kid himself published the dance to YouTube as part of Fortnite's #BoogieDown contest.

His "THEY ADDED IT OMGOMG" in a since-deleted tweet suggests that he was happy about Orange Justice being included. But hey, that was before money was on the line.

And speaking of that contest, it's worth noting that Epic was pretty clear in its rules that submitting an entry granted the company a "non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, transferable, sublicensable, and royalty free license" to the dance in question. A lot of these suits seem kind of weak. But this one, especially, seems like a longshot.